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Strengthening Positive Labour Relations

Our Vision

OPSBA believes that teachers and education workers deeply influence a positive and productive learning environment for students and are supported in this role through the peace and stability engendered by successfully negotiated collective agreements.

It is OPSBA's goal to negotiate fair and equitable collective agreements through the collective bargaining process. Our priority continues to be the improvement of student achievement and well-being. That remains the focus of our bargaining.

Collective Bargaining: Background

Today's Parent: What parents should know about a possible teacher strike


Collective Bargaining Status Updates 

*as of October 18, 2019

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)

OPSBA received Notice to Bargain from OSSTF on April 29, 2019.

On September 5, 2019, the Ontario Labour Relations Board determined the matters to be bargained centrally.

On September 24, 2019, OSSTF President Harvey Bischof held a press conference to outline the union's bargaining briefs (one for teachers and another for education workers) that had not yet been tabled but would be tabled to the employer the week of September 30, 2019. This was considered a very unusual move in the tradition of collective bargaining and the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act. 

On October 15, 2019, OSSTF announced it would begin holding strike votes on October 22, 2019, across the province, with an aim of completing all votes by November 15, 2019.

On October 18, 2019, OSSTF indicated they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and meeting dates are scheduled.

OSSTF Education Workers

The Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA) received Notice to Bargain from OSSTF Education Workers on April 29, 2019. 

On September 5, 2019, the Ontario Labour Relations Board determined the matters to be bargained centrally.

On September 24, 2019, OSSTF President Harvey Bischof held a press conference to outline the union's bargaining briefs (one for teachers and another for education workers) that had not yet been tabled but would be tabled to the employer the week of September 30, 2019. This was considered a very unusual move in the tradition of collective bargaining and the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act.

On October 15, 2019, OSSTF announced it would begin holding strike votes on October 22, 2019, across the province, with an aim of completing all votes by November 15, 2019.

On October 18, 2019, OSTF indicated they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and meeting dates are scheduled.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)

OPSBA received Notice to Bargain from ETFO on June 3, 2019. 

ETFO has determined that their locals should be holding meetings, which are including strike votes. 

On October 15, 2019, ETFO indicated that they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and meeting dates are scheduled.

ETFO Education Workers

The CTA received Notice to Bargain from ETFO Education Workers on June 3, 2019. 

ETFO has determined that their locals will be holding meetings, which will include strike votes. 

On October 15, 2019, ETFO indicated that they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and meeting dates are scheduled.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

The CTA received Notice to Bargain from CUPE on May 3, 2019, and, following six days of bargaining, requested a conciliator on July 30, 2019. CUPE then requested a no-board report on September 5, 2019. That report was issued by the Ministry of Labour on September 13, 2019, meaning that CUPE was in a legal strike position as of September 30, 2019.

On September 25, 2019, the CTA and the Crown received CUPE's notice of job action effective Monday, September 30, 2019. They provided a description of phase 1 of the Work to Rule to the school boards and the Crown. On September 29, mediation among the CTA, the Crown and CUPE ended without an agreement. 

On October 2, 2019, CUPE announced that they would be escalating strike action to a full withdrawal of services on October 7, 2019. The bargaining process remained ongoing with meetings scheduled for the weekend of October 4 to 6, resulting in a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement, announced on the evening of October 6. The details of the agreement remain confidential until ratified by all parties.

Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO)

The CTA received Notice to Bargain from EWAO on May 10, 2019. On September 11, 2019, EWAO, the CTA and the Crown concluded discussions regarding the scope of central bargaining, resulting in an agreement.

The process remains ongoing and the parties are now in issues bargaining.

Ontario Council of Education Workers (OCEW)

The Council of Trustees' Associations received Notice to Bargain from OCEW on June 24, 2019. 

On September 13, 2019, OCEW informed the CTA and the Crown that they would file for conciliation on September 16, 2019.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and further meeting dates are set.


School Boards Collective Bargaining Act (SBCBA) Review 

OPSBA, along with the three other school board/trustee associations, gave a joint submission to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act, 2017, on March 8, 2017. This followed a letter to Minister Mitzie Hunter on Feb. 10, 2017, outlining school board concerns with respect to a number of issues related to the SBCBA. 

Stakeholder Consultation Summary

Following the conclusion of the first round of bargaining under the SBCBA, the government consulted with its partners in order to review the Act to see if there were improvements that could be made to the process. On July 4, 2016, the Minister of Education publicly released the summary of those consultations.


Additional information
OPSBA Media Releases